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Europa League: Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas fears fixture pile-up could put careers at risk

Spurs are in European action tonight

Andre Villas-Boas has warned his players' careers could be wrecked because of a fixture pile-up.

Tottenham will play Aston Villa in the third round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, just two days after the north London club face Cardiff in the Premier League.

Given that Spurs play Tromso in the Europa League tomorrow night, Villas-Boas's squad face a hectic period of three games in six days.

The Portuguese understands the need to schedule the Cardiff game on Sunday, but is perplexed as to why his squad will have to play at Villa Park 48 hours later, especially when some Capital One Cup fixtures are taking place on Wednesday.

"After this game we have not only the Sunday game but the Tuesday game, which I found as an incredible surprise," Villas-Boas said. "How can a game be scheduled immediately after two days? It's putting the players' careers at risk.

"I find it absolutely incredible we have to risk injuries to our players in a game on Tuesday. The second day of recovery is the most dangerous for a player to pick up an injury. If this is not taken into account I think it's bad.

"Obviously other things have to be respected because of the fixtures being played on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"But the problem is that in the end Tottenham was chosen to play on Tuesday, with only the Monday to recover from the last match, and that puts us in a very difficult position."

Aaron Lennon will definitely miss tomorrow night's Group K meeting with Norwegians Tromso at White Hart Lane because of a foot injury, while Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue are also out. Romanian defender Vlad Chiriches is still to receive a work permit following his transfer from Steaua Bucharest, but Jermain Defoe is expected to start only his second game of the season, having been used mainly as a substitute so far.

Tottenham Hotspur (possible; 4-2-3-1) Friedel; Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose; Sandro, Dembele; Lamela, Holtby, Sigurdsson; Defoe.

TV ITV4 (8.05pm kick-off)